Adam’s apple did him in. Doughnuts did the same thing for Marketman, at least for today. :) These doughnuts totally and utterly screwed my by now 7-week incredibly disciplined (with only a few transgressions) diet. Before embarking on my weight loss program (I have hit 168-169 pounds, just one darned pound shy of my ultimate goal, before rising 2 pounds on trip eating), doughnuts were definitely my waterloo, my achilles heel… The kid used to just laugh when I was thinking about a going on a diet and the next thing out of my mouth was “you want an old-fashioned doughnut?, I’ll drive…” or “let’s get some books, then pass by Krispy Kreme for an old-fashioned doughnut…”
Yesterday, I was reading the latest issue of Food & Wine magazine featuring all kinds of healthy dishes, as well as tips from fat chefs who had successfully slimmed down, and I spied a recipe for a (relatively) healthy sounding sweet potato doughnut, which was baked, not fried. Suddenly, I had this uncontrollable urge to make the doughnuts as a treat for myself after having been so good for so long… ARRRGGGHHH!!! :)
So the basic recipe is fully credited to Food & Wine, here. While the concept seems really innovative, a quick google yields several other recipes for sweet potato doughnuts, so others have thought about this before. This was the first I had heard of the mixture of a root crop with a fried snack/dessert icon. I followed the recipe as described, using our own kamote and bread flour. Early in the mixing, I realized it wasn’t going as it should. I thought I may have put in a little too much kamote or sweet potato, but a quick check suggested otherwise. I suspect the yeast or again the poor quality of bread flour was the culprit, but suffice it to say I was wondering if the dough would rise sufficiently.
Instead of the first rise lasting an hour, I let it go for 2 hours, and I still wasn’t happy with the growth in the dough. But I moved forward with the cutting and a second rise. The doughnuts seemed a bit flat, but the last chance for rapid growth was the “puff” factor in the oven or when cooked. I had doubled the recipe to begin with, and it was looking like we were going to be up to our ears in doughnuts. The second rise was roughly 1.5 hours, and again the dough seemed a little reticent to expand.
While waiting impatiently for the doughnuts to rise, I decided to FRY THE DOUGHNUT HOLES IN HOMEMADE LARD. This was the beginning of my complete diet blowout today. The little pieces of dough puffed up VERY NICELY in the hot lard and browned in just a few seconds! I followed the recipe instructions and drizzled the doughnuts with butter and sprinkled them with homemade cinnamon sugar, but for some reason, the sugar did not adhere well to the surface of the doughnuts. But I popped one into my mouth and it was absolute heaven. The kamote was just faintly discernible but a pleasant undertone of flavor to the more assertive sugar and cinnamon topping. After one, I popped another, then another, and another… Fresh out of the lard, they were AWESOME.
Thinking the problem was related to the frying and hence the butter didn’t serve as an effective adhesive, I did the same thing to a batch of BAKED doughnuts (here with the centers still in, for a filled version) and the sugar still didn’t stick. So I decided that part of the original recipe was a weak point. The baked doughnuts were likewise delicious, but honestly, the FAT was missing and definitely missed. :)
So after two pans of baked doughnuts, we ditched the “healthy intentions” and fried the rest of the doughnuts in good old pork lard. A couple of hours later, for merienda, the teen went into the kitchen and messed around and emerged with this big grin on her face… She had a beautifully sugared doughnut. She had brushed a cooled donut with some soft butter and pressed it into a plate of cinnamon sugar and there she had a near perfect and highly photogenic sugared doughnut!
I asked her to take some photos of the doughnuts and the best photos in this post are hers. While she chased some late afternoon light, her trusty brown labrador stayed close at hand, hoping for a treat. :)
Meanwhile, I buttered and sugared several more whole doughnuts as the kid had done hers and thought about filling them with some kumquat marmalade…
…but I couldn’t wait and just put a teaspoon of marmalade on each one. They were good. But even for me, a bit over the top. So today we had doughnut centers, doughnuts with holes, and with no holes, fried in lard. We had doughnuts with holes and with no holes baked. Now if only I can recover from this diet blowout in the days ahead. :)